Exclusive interview of Trend with Murat LeCompte, Chief of External Affairs at SOCAR Turkey Energy
Star Refinery is in the start-up phase. Testing is complete. All the units have been commissioned. Everything is on track. The production has actually started now. It is producing jet fuel, diesel, LPG and other different products. The production will be ramping up over the time.
By the end of this year, about 8 million tons of crude oil will be processed at Star Refinery. Most of that is currently coming from Russia. But over time, we will be buying crude oil from other sources as well, from Iraq for example. There will be some Basra fuel coming in the near future.
Petkim petrochemical complex
Petkim is actually Turkey’s largest petrochemical producer. It currently supplies about 20 percent of the market. Petkim’s has 2500-3000 customers in Turkey. These are companies that are basically medium-sized business that take Petkim’s products and turn to finished products for the end-users. Outside Turkey Petkim also exports to 11 countries in total. Some of them are geographically close, some of them like Germany, for example, are far.
Petkim currently produces more than 20 different products.
SOCAR’s fuel supply to Istanbul airport
SOCAR’s fuel supply to Istanbul airport will stand at a total of 700,000 tons of jet fuel yearly. So far we have actually started. We’ve sent two tankers from the Star Refinery already to the airport. It is just started and it is on track.
SOCAR investments in Turkey
SOCAR is the largest international investor in Turkey. Turkey’s largest investments actually come from Azerbaijan, from SOCAR. Since 2008, when it started to operate, the total investment has been $15 billion. If you add the amounts that are planned, it is going to be a total of $19.5 billion.
Starting from 2020, there is a new petrochemical plant that we are working on. The final investment decision on that plant should be given maybe end of first quarter of 2020. It is going to take 2 to 3 years to build that. So in 2022-2023 hopefully, it will be finished. That’s the joint venture between SOCAR Turkey and BP. Currently, that’s the only one the table. Currently, we are doing Front-End Engineering Design (FEED), and feasibility studies.
We did acquisitions this year. We acquired two natural gas distribution companies, Bursagaz and Kayserigaz. They are going to continue to operate. They have about 1.5 million subscribers in those cities. Along with those, we also added three other companies this year. One of them is a kind of energy trading and electrical trading company, one of them is the telecommunications company and one of them is the company that provides services in the energy industry. We acquired a total of five companies this year.
We are continuing to invest in Turkey. We think it is a good market, we think the economy is strong.